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American Thinker disables its comment section

American Thinker disables its comment section

“All of us who work here agree that the choice was binary: shut down the comments or shut down the site.”

https://www.americanthinker.com/

The demise of comment sections has been happening for a decade.

Publishers mostly were disgusted with the vulgar tone of comments, which they didn’t have the time to moderate, so it was easier just to shut it down.

Those concerns were before the cancel culture digital purge that started in the past few years, and now has accelerated with the blocking of Trump, his supporters, and even mainstream conservatives from social media. More than anything, the takedown of Parler for threats on the platform that were no worse than what is common on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere, has sent a chill through the non-liberal internet.

On January 14, American Thinker founder Thomas Lifson posted a blog post about the comment section:

It is news to almost nobody who reads American Thinker that a political witch hunt is underway. Parties in and out of government are looking for excuses to suppress and destroy voices that oppose the left.

Because AT lacks the ability to monitor comments in real time, and because our position that comments are a forum, not something we publish, is being called into question, we can no longer publish comments.

We take this action with a heavy heart.

Lifson’s post doesn’t explain what the issue is, but it must be serious. This follow up post by Deputy Editor Andrea Widburg presented it as a life-or-death issue for AT’s existence:

Yesterday, we announced that we are closing comments at American Thinker. We immediately received a couple of hundred very unhappy, angry, and sometimes insulting emails about that decision. Without divulging why we made that decision, here are a few points to ponder.

First, 90% of the assumptions in the emails were wrong. This meant that a lot of people were theorizing in advance of their data. America is currently deeply destabilized, and things are happening that most people can’t imagine. Sometimes, those things hit close to home.

Second, it’s lovely that many of you came here for the conversation in the comments. To have the comments abruptly turned off was the equivalent of our breaking up your party, the great party at which all the guests were interesting and delightful. We appreciate what an unpleasant shock and disappointment that was, and we hate to be the mean parent who broke up the party, but, again, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Third, this site is a labor of love for everyone involved, especially for its founder, Thomas Lifson. If you imagine that he would ever authorize such a difficult decision when there were other choices to be made, well, you don’t know Thomas. All of us who work here agree that the choice was binary: shut down the comments or shut down the site. Or to use an analogy, amputate the limb or watch the patient die. Looked at from that perspective, there really was no choice.

That still doesn’t tell us much, but it appears that it is unrelated to the AT apology to Dominion.

If they can take down the President, if they can take down Parler, they can take down a small website.

We don’t tolerate threats of violence in our comment section, and we never have. Thanksfully, it has not been a serious problem. Our refusal to use a third-party comment platform has kept Legal Insurrection comment section more civil than most; you have to register with us specifically, you can’t just drive by and throw verbal grenades.

We do our best to monitor the comment section to avoid such content, but we also need reader help. If you see something that slipped through our net threatening or proposing violence, please contact us. Preserving the comment section is in everyone’s interest.

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Comments

caseoftheblues | January 15, 2021 at 7:05 pm

To me this reads as yet another surrender to the left and what they what. Sad doesn’t begin to cover it.

    I see this as a strategic pull-back.
    Until they have the security of being able to publish anything they wish, they are at risk of being shut down completely.

    What does cover it is the realization by more and more that a large-scale conspiracy is afoot to impose rule from above.

    Identifying those who are above is no difficult. What’s proving difficult is accepting that those “nice looking, well-spoken people” mean to enslave us by denying us constitutional principles.

    “10th Amendment? What’s that?”

    JusticeDelivered in reply to caseoftheblues. | January 15, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    When I saw AT’s announcement I sent them a message suggesting they should join LI’s big tech purge conference. I do think that banding together for Internet service is the best approach. I also think that moving hosting offshore, using at least two countries , is the best way to avoid censorship.

      clayusmcret in reply to JusticeDelivered. | January 16, 2021 at 11:03 am

      The left bands together to fight the right while the right scatters like roaches when the lights come on rather than show strength through unity. AT has also put out a Dominion apology notice. Could the fall any further than this, other than simply turning out the lights as they walk out the door?

        The right doesn’t scatter: the Republican party scatters.

        If we had a party of our own, we’d never scatter.

          You keep saying this, Fine, about starting a new party, etc., but it’s not at all clear what you mean. You must know that Trump’s 75+ million supporters are not all the same, so what is this “party of our own” you envision? Who would join it (i.e. who’s this “we” you keep talking about?)? Do all these new party members have to agree the Barr is the “real” problem, the root of all that is wrong in this historical moment? Do they have to agree that the other “real” problems are (in no particular order) Jeff Sessions, the GOP, Paul Ryan, John Boehner, John McCain, and whomever else–among the dead and retired from politics–you are railing against on a given day? Do they have to agree that the “uniparty” is real and that only a few (so far unnamed) Republicans are worthy?

          What would your new party’s platform look like? What recognized politician/s and donors would you work to include? How would you attract voters to this new party? A website, ads, social media? It all takes money, and you need a well-known figure to be its face, at least at first. What would you call this new party that it be taken seriously and not ridiculed or, perhaps worse, dismissed (as the Green, Libertarian, and a zillion other parties are)?

          In short, so far, I see this new party consisting of you and . . . , wait, no, just you.

I come here for a lot of reasons – the articles are great and they are aligned with my values and beliefs. And for the most part (no one is perfect) we the commenters seem to exercise restrains and self control. Everyone should be proud of this community.

The cancelation of comments sections is a greater affront to free speech than almost anything else that Big Tech has engineered. They do not like what readers actually think. So they prevent you and I from offering any opinion at all.

With inconvenient public opinion out of the way, the censors will shift their focus to the authors.

That is why AT’s reasoning for killing comments is fatally flawed.

To borrow Ms. Widburg’s analogy, the choice is not whether to “amputate the limb or watch the patient die.” The patient has metastatic cancer: Amazon Web Services.

You can amputate the limb, but when the rot is this severe, you are just a dead man walking. And now, you have just one leg.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to John_Locke. | January 15, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    Isn’t it interesting that almost all media comment sections were taken down in 2020, it makes one wonder if it was a grand conspiracy.

      I noticed it intensified in 2020, but it really began shortly after the 2016 election results came in. It was as if it became the conventional wisdom that right-wing commentary on websites was a responsible factor in Trump’s win and Hillary’s loss. The first big site I noticed to remove comments was IMDB, which shut down its comment section in February, 2017. ESPN removed its comments in 2018.

    InEssence in reply to John_Locke. | January 15, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    A better analogy is to either amputate the heart or watch the patient die.

I have to chuckle at Andrea’s comment
“First, 90% of the assumptions in the emails were wrong. This meant that a lot of people were theorizing in advance of their data. America is currently deeply destabilized, and things are happening that most people can’t imagine. Sometimes, those things hit close to home.”

If you don’t provide a clear, concise reason behind making that type of decision of course you will have people make assumptions. If the reasoning is given by a reputable source more people will believe it, you will always have doubters, it comes with the territory.

    cgray451 in reply to buck61. | January 15, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    She’s an arrogant, emotionally unstable conspiracy nut. That site will be dead within three months.

      Paddy M in reply to cgray451. | January 15, 2021 at 8:08 pm

      Chuckles is trolling LI. About time to switch to your “wolf” monikers, dipshit.

        cgray451 in reply to Paddy M. | January 15, 2021 at 8:14 pm

        So, she hasn’t spent the last two months repeatedly lying about Dominion “stealing” the election from Trump?

        Check out that groveling apology again, Cleetus.

          Paddy M in reply to cgray451. | January 15, 2021 at 8:32 pm

          I don’t read AT all that much, Chuckles. Do you bitch about a “standing army” there while cheerleading lockdowns? Cognitive dissonance is your thing.

          txvet2 in reply to cgray451. | January 15, 2021 at 11:29 pm

          Haven’t read AS in a long time, but if I know that there have been a couple of the usual trolls here lying about Dominion’s role in stealing the election for about 2 months, and nobody seems to be trying to run them off of the internet.

          alaskabob in reply to cgray451. | January 16, 2021 at 11:42 am

          Bottom line on Dominion… Canada and many other countries do not ever use electronic voting. Dominion is correct…they sell machines to give you the voting you want.

        I like him, though. He’s so incredibly vile and Trump-deranged that he’s like our own pet carnival side show. “Send LI fifty cents if you want to see the brainwashed zombie cgray451 spout leftist hate, spite, derision, and condescension! Step right up!”

      “She’s an arrogant, emotionally unstable conspiracy nut….”

      A little projection, from your mom’s basement?

DieJustAsHappy | January 15, 2021 at 7:25 pm

Widburg’s and “Second …” scoffing at those who were frequent commenters is rather poor. They helped to make the site what it was.
So, pooh on AT. They’ll go the way of “The Federalist”. Just no where as interesting as it once was.

And, if these sites don’t band together, then they’ll continue to be picked off, one by one.

    CountMontyC in reply to DieJustAsHappy. | January 15, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Newsbusters also disabled their comment section this past year with no explanation I could find and over the past few days Breitbart puts every comment into moderation until approved.I believe Big Tech is flexing it’s muscles and trying to silence speech it disapproves of step by step.

      DieJustAsHappy in reply to CountMontyC. | January 15, 2021 at 8:00 pm

      I’ve several comments disappear from different sites, although initially they were posted. Something seems to be going on with Disqus.

Could have spent a little more time discussing Lifson’s groveling apology to Dominion for AT lying its collective ass off for the last two months about the “stolen election”.?

This isn’t surprising based upon my few dealings with Lifson over the years. He’s a ‘true conservative’ (copyright), erudite and eloquent, as long as his dinner reservations aren’t compromised, but now… “Parties in and out of government are looking for excuses to suppress and destroy voices that oppose the left.”

And now they’ve found a willing accomplice eager to preserve his dinner reservations. Thanks, Tom.

Been a daily reader of AT just as I have been here for a long time, I like they have new content when I get up early daily yet never bothered yo comment there so obviously not important to me.
But do like giving opinions to fellow conservatives to bounce off of

    guyjones in reply to Skip. | January 15, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    Right — whether one participates in forums, or not, it’s really the principle that must be defended. People should be free to post comments and to engage in debates and free-wheeling banter, short of threats to violence and incitement. The vile Dhimmi-crats are taking that right away from us.

Lucifer Morningstar | January 15, 2021 at 8:37 pm

Removed the comment section but yet left “Parler” buttons that leads to nowhere at both the top and bottom of the articles as if Parler is ever going to be allowed back on the internet. (It won’t be so they might as well remove that too.)

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Lucifer Morningstar. | January 16, 2021 at 8:15 am

    Parler should be able to return to business as usual by going to an offshore server.

      India and the former Eastern Bloc countries would be good places to start. They recognize communism and hate the Tech Tyrants.

        Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Dimsdale. | January 16, 2021 at 12:51 pm

        And if they think they can just willy nilly transfer people’s information out of the United States without our permission you’re nuts. If they are going to do that then I would demand that my information be permanently deleted from their database(s) before the transfer took place. Parler isn’t worth having my PII transferred to some third-world shithole. And that’s the truth.

          “And if they think they can just willy nilly transfer people’s information out of the United States without our permission you’re nuts.”

          I look forward to your citation of US law that would prevent that.

          Free clue: There isn’t. I know this because the institution had to negotiate to keep our US data on US servers when we contract to cloud providers.

          But hey. Don’t let lying stop ya.

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to JusticeDelivered. | January 16, 2021 at 12:49 pm

      Parler should be able to return to business as usual by going to an offshore server.

      And how can they do that. They don’t have access to any servers they might own. They don’t have access to any data or databases. They surely don’t have the money to move lock, stock, and barrel to some country like India or Russia. And I predict the Parler v. Amazon lawsuit is most likely to be dismissed as Amazon most assuredly has a clause in their TOS that the owners of Parler agreed to that states that AWS can terminate services for any reason or no reason at all without 30 days notice if Amazon determines they are in major violation of their agreement.

      So nope. Parler is dead. Dead and gone and won’t be resurrected any time soon.

        ConserveLiberty in reply to Lucifer Morningstar. | January 16, 2021 at 1:06 pm

        It isn’t just AWS that can terminate a website. It’s also access to all the ancillary Cloud apps optimized to AWS hooks that power sub-routines necessary to to host a working front-end. If just one of them denies service the entire website is terminated; and there aren’t replacements available to be licensed. It is a systemic takedown.

          Lucifer Morningstar in reply to ConserveLiberty. | January 16, 2021 at 4:51 pm

          It isn’t just AWS that can terminate a website. It’s also access to all the ancillary Cloud apps optimized to AWS hooks that power sub-routines necessary to to host a working front-end. If just one of them denies service the entire website is terminated; and there aren’t replacements available to be licensed. It is a systemic takedown.

          Then perhaps the owner(s) of Parler shouldn’t have made a deal with the devil and found some other method of having their website online. Great Maker, it isn’t like this isn’t the first time Amazon/Apple/Google has pulled stunts like this and it won’t be the last. So nope, no sympathy for Parler at this point. They made the deal, and now they are suffering the conequences.

    Yes, Parler will be restored. Ghey’re pursuing legal avenues now, from what I understand.

Read AT’s back down of Dominion, as a fellow commentator at AoSHq pointed out if 1 of those just under 60 courts would have heard a case Dominion might not be feeling so high and mighty. I don’t blaim a website having to back down from a multi million dollar company. Sydney Powell is feeling it as well but she has a better chance of fending the attack off.
One other thing I thought of is it’s not just a libel case Dominion could lose, if found it is a fraud it’s a criminal justice matter if you could find a DA to go after them, more likely a state as Slo Joe’s DoJ will be worse than Obama’s was in protecting Democrats friends.

    mark311 in reply to Skip. | January 16, 2021 at 5:05 am

    The county Antrim case will be the case in point I suspect. There is quite a lot of expert reporting on that. Both in terms of experts for Powell and rebuttals of those reports

To be honest, I haven’t missed them, for years. Same with American Spectator.

The glory days of the internet have been over with for more than 10 years.

Time for a sea-change, another medium or mode of dissemination that does not require a package “deal” subscription model.

One thing that never ceases to defy logic is people purchasing really large video screens to look at the same sorryass content that was abhorrent 25 years ago.

The ‘net has been handy for many conveniences, particularly citizen journalism. OTOH, Amazon is about the worst thing that ever happened to price competition among vendors, suppliers and retailers. Price competition no longer exists, even on eBay.

In the redux, if you bought it on Amazon, you probably paid less than retail but your probably paid too much.

    henrybowman in reply to NotKennedy. | January 16, 2021 at 4:26 am

    “One thing that never ceases to defy logic is people purchasing really large video screens to look at the same sorryass content that was abhorrent 25 years ago.”

    Cuz, you know, when you get 25 years older, your eyesight gets 25 times better.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to henrybowman. | January 16, 2021 at 8:19 am

      And, at least in the case of computers, that larger screen is just ducky-swell dandy for things like photo editing; dummying up a parody logo like i just did for the front plate on my new car; videography; MuseScore…

    JusticeDelivered in reply to NotKennedy. | January 16, 2021 at 8:23 am

    I often check Amazon for price, and then I look for a better price.

    I usually can find a better price. Also, when it is stuff that comes from China, there are sites which usually have better prices, but longer delivery times.

    Bottom line, I am cutting Amazon out.

    maxmillion in reply to NotKennedy. | January 16, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    “Meet the new boss
    Same as Worse than the new boss”

Are the Dhimmi-crat websites held to the same scrutiny and standard? I would posit that they are not. I’m sure all of their websites were filled with threats and incitement against POTUS Trump, police officers, conservative Americans, etc., during the violence and destruction of the Dhimmi-crat sanctioned/enabled/praised/lionized riots, violence and destruction of last year.

So, any claim that this censorship is being applied evenly, on a non-partisan basis, is utter bunk. Let’s acknowledge what this plainly is — totalitarian and one-sided censoring of conservative voices and debate.

IMO I haven’t seen anything in the comments that would alarm me…but I am not easily alarmed. Your average d/progressive Karen would certainly find many things not to like our comments section.

Personally I would like to see a little less of the ‘keyboard tough guy/girl wannabe warrior’ postings. These veiled, less than generalized not quite threats or calls to take up arms may deserve a look from the site.

I would respectfully suggest that the author of the article be responsible for moderation of the comments for that article. Don’t just ban folks, send them an email and engage with them to figure out what they actually meant to express. If warranted then delete the post.

Moderator duty is not easy. It’s thankless, tedious and time-consuming. If the continued use of the site to accommodate all that requires a paid subscription only model so be it, IMO.

AWS acted under their standard contract clause that permits service discontinuation when essential third-party sources – Apple and Google – in this case ceased doing business with Parler for failure to moderate its site. Making AWS responsible for this Qanon-favored social network is poor reasoning.

As for American Thinker, they were guilty of permitting published articles containing lies about Dominion and the solution was cheap – just admit the lies written about the voting machine company.

Eliminating comments at AT was a solution that Professor Jacobson considered several years ago here because of the time-consuming nature of approving reader contributions.

Colonel Travis | January 15, 2021 at 9:45 pm

Stay strong, Prof.

And just like The Federalist, I will not visit them until they put the comment section back.

I have no patience with the surrender monkeys of the right. Either fight or go away.

Hot stock tip: Invest in any company building servers and hosting infrastructure in eastern European countries.

If it was life or death… who was holding the gun? AWS? WordPress?

What’s the story on someone with a backbone puting some damn servers and network gear in a few buildings between the two oceans?

Are we to believe that the only people running server farms are fascists?

When it comes to a disconnect between the quality of the commentary and quality of the comments, the two couldn’t be more disparate than at Legal Insurrection. Prof. Jacobson and everyone who writes here provides excellent points, only to be punctuated by a psychotic comment section made up of a dozen or so like minded blowhards who shout down anything they don’t believe in. The end result is no one can have or even wants to have a reasonable discussion.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Mr85. | January 16, 2021 at 8:33 am

    So, haven’t you been able to express your opinion?

    SField in reply to Mr85. | January 16, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Perhaps you would get the quality conversation you desire if you stick to the facts and stop with the personal insults. Calling people you know nothing about “psychotic”, is a bad way to foster a genuine conversation.

One comment per thread, with no replies, would solve much the matter. Make your point about the article and move on. FWIW.

It seems to me AT’s reason for disabling comments is both clear and sensible. They are unable to monitor and moderate comments in real time and thereby render themselves liable for serios and expensive legal action from the denizens of the Left. (An alternative might have been to use delayed moderation, holding comments back for perhaps two or more days.)

I would have done the same.

I expect to see comments restored once Mr. Lifson has resolved the moderation issue.

Meanwhile, I urge the more voluble commenters here to learn to read and comprehend English .

    henrybowman in reply to Rob. | January 16, 2021 at 4:31 am

    After all the blatant ass-covering the Nazi technocrats manage to wring out of Section 230, why isn’t it protecting small patriot websites who DON’T bias their own “common carrier content?” That’s precisely what it was designed to do when it was written!

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Rob. | January 16, 2021 at 8:39 am

    I think the point is that service providers should not have any say about moderation, they provide hosting, nothing more or less.

    GWB in reply to Rob. | January 16, 2021 at 10:14 am

    holding comments back for perhaps two or more days
    What would be the point of commenting, then?

The assumption is that either their hosting service, their domain registrar, or both, threatened them, and they have yet to find a viable alternative. That’s why they can’t give the reason, the reason would drop them instantly if AT identified them. If they switch hosting services and/or registrars they would no longer have any reason not to identify them.

I like to go to the source documents when doing my research. For example, the court filings and subsequent opinions in the election “fraud” cases painted a much different picture than the Giuliani press conferences. Likewise, reading the “affidavits” of those people claiming fraud was a master class in hearsay and ignorance. (Which is why I enjoy Professor J’s articles so much; he goes to, and cites the actual documents, not either side’s interpretation.)

Both the Parler filing and AWS response were also intriguing. AWS cited 15 examples of the types of postings on Parler causing concern. They were all incredibly horrific and specific regarding the targets of the violence being promoted. (E.g.: “#JackDorsey … you will die a bloody death alongside Mark Suckerturd [Zuckerberg]…. It has been decided and plans are being put in place. Remember the photographs inside your home while you slept? Yes, that close. You will die a sudden death!”) AWS also stated in its response that the two entities had several calls about these postings: “During one of the calls, Parler’s CEO reported that Parler had a backlog of 26,000 reports of content that violated its community standards and remained on its service.” AWS wasn’t concerned about a couple of rash postings, there were apparently tens of thousands of these.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to RNJD. | January 16, 2021 at 8:50 am

    All business should focus on the business, and not try to use it as a political platform. These companies are lucky that so far it has been just hot air.

    Now they are losing business on a grand scale, their actions were, to put it mildly, stupid.

    Daiwa in reply to RNJD. | January 16, 2021 at 11:45 am

    AWS totally not bothered by the thousands of vile, threatening and inciting comments on lefty sites. It’s a team sport and the ref (AWS) is owned by one side.

I think it’s time for conservative sites – including LI – to become “Members Only”. First, having to pay…say…$5 per month or $50 per year in order to post here would keep a lot of the trolls out. Secondly, the income would pay for moderators.

2smartforlibs | January 16, 2021 at 9:33 am

American thinker. 100% fed up and several others are under attack by way to take a knee.

No matter why the decision was made it is still going to cost them a lot of readers like me.

Sad.

It’s easy to see why there’s always pressure to regulate speech.
It’s because free speech is a real mutha: You have to endure all those people out there who are boring, insipid, irrelevant, obnoxious, asinine, etc., and that’s before you even get to the ones who are wrong and disagreeable.

The only speech that requires protection is “offensive” (to someone) speech.

I find the comments usually as valuable as the article. AT has lost a great deal of interest of mine.

Yes, there is a lot of garbage in the comments section, but that is the point, after all.

I fully recognize the moderation problem. Otherwise the comments would be full of porn links, etc. But, if you want my eyeballs on your site, figure out a solution. Which isn’t abandoning the field.

A sad state of affairs. One of the things I liked about AT is the same thing I like about LI- The knowledge of the readers and the quality of their comments. I’m inclined to say that AT shouldn’t cede one inch of territory to the left, but I don’t know the whole situation.

I suppose I’ll still check them out from time to time, but without the interaction of the comment section, the site no longer has much appeal to me.

    DieJustAsHappy in reply to SField. | January 16, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    Yes, there were some regular readers who commented with knowledge and experience. However, there was a time when AT was being swarmed with ravings and rantings against the Jews.

    I thought At ought to have action about this sooner. I left when blocking such persons made some of the comment sections nearly unintelligible. I noticed quite some months later the format had changed. The haters didn’t seem to be around, but not as many as the regulars as well.

    As you stated, “sad state of affairs.”

      I never saw that in my time there. I’m sorry to hear that anti-semitic commenters became so overwhelming as to disrupt the conversation, and drive regular commenters such as yourself away.

      I spent a couple of years moderating forums for things I thought so innocuous that you would never get any kind of over the top irrational fanatical people like I’d seen in more polarized forums. How wrong I was.

      It was a balancing act, and a learning experience. The difference between a passionate person whom you simply disagree with, and the person whose only reason for being there is to disrupt and take over a conversation for reasons beyond the scope of the site’s content, could be blurry at times.

        DieJustAsHappy in reply to SField. | January 16, 2021 at 3:25 pm

        I wish I could pinpoint the time period when this was happening on AT. As I recall, there were a few who would be banned yet find a way to return. In some cases, it was obvious they were using prepared material for attacking Jews and disrupting any genuine conversation. It was some time before AT adopted their current format.

        We only hope some good will come out of the current turmoil.

empiricallyobvious | January 16, 2021 at 12:53 pm

I write this without hyperbole. This is a watershed event. Without reader’s comments, all sites will gravitate towards a closed loop of internal thought.
Siloed into hardened camps, American discourse will end and foster a build up of pressures that will ultimately erupt.
Those on the right must realize that this is a fight to the end for freedom of speech. We must use our ingenuity and wealth to acquire and stand up server farms and internet access free from censorship by corrupt corporate-government alliances.
The irony of our success will then be to watch how fast they move to strike Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…

“Without reader’s comments, all sites will gravitate towards a closed loop of internal thought.”

That really sums up the situation.

    DieJustAsHappy in reply to SField. | January 16, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    And, when this happens, whether a site be on the Right or the Left, it will be deficient.

    It will be so because of the lack of one fundamental of discourse by advanced societies: questions. Why they aren’t allowed, or only certain ones are, an exchange of thoughts and ideas would be missing the refining fire of questions.

    It is then a civilization continues on the path of decline. Given’t what’s reported here, and especially in the case of colleges and universities, we’re on the path. Will we continue on …

If § 230 is repealed, as so many commenters here want, then LI will have no choice but to do the same thing.

    Milhouse: I am really torn on the issue of section 230 repeal. My biggest problem with social-media is how it gives a high-tech bull-horn to anonymous folks who can literally slander, libel, and defame you to the point of destroying your reputation, your career, your life as you know it. From what I can see, you have no practical recourse against those who slandered you, nor against the platforms that facilitated it. I’m a big supporter of the 1st amendment, but I am against the freedom to defame and slander people, or to aid and abet them, especially when it is driven by political animus and a desire to silence dissent and control the debate. How would you suggest we reign in this phenomenon and give the injured parties some legal recourse other than to go pound sand?

The silver lining in all of this is that conservative web sites and blogs are now incentivized to work toward developing alternative web resource to counter those controlled by the left. I don’t think anybody realized how heavy-handed the big internet providers could be with using their market dominance to stifle debate. Now we know. It’s just a matter of time before the emergence of robust conservative controlled internet providers, hosting sites, and blogs come into being to counteract this left-wing censorship. Keep in mind, tens of millions of folks want this to happen. It’s going to happen.

I thought they shut down their comment section a long time ago.

Seriously, didn’t AM.Th. just “settle” with Dominion to stay out of a lawsuit for defamation? Am I to think there is not a connection between that so-called settlement and their discontinuance of the comments? I suspect Dominion doesn’t want anyone impugning their battered reputation, and having some power over Am.Th. they used it. I suspect Am.Th.’s reasoning for discontinuing the comments is spin.

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